The company also announced a new phase of expansion to its Scotch whisky production in Speyside. The activity is part of its £1bn five-year investment plan which was launched last year.
The new distillery, which will create up to 20 jobs, will be adjacent to the company’s existing Teaninich distillery but will have its own name and identity. It involves an investment in the region of £50 million and will have the capacity to produce around 13 million litres of spirit per annum from 16 copper stills. The site will also feature a bio-energy plant.
At the same time Diageo also plans to invest £12million in expanding the existing Teaninich distillery to almost double its capacity. The single malt whisky produced at the new distillery and at the expanded Teaninich distillery will be used in a range of Diageo’s blended Scotch whisky brands.
Full planning applications will be submitted to Highland Council and the company hopes to be in a position to begin work on the new distillery in 2014. Diageo also announced plans to invest around £30 million in new production facilities in Speyside, including a project to "substantially increase" the capacity of the Mortlach distillery at Dufftown. This will involve the building of a new stillhouse, which will replicate the partial-triple distillation process which makes Mortlach unique.
Another element of the investment will be the construction of a new plant at Glendullan to process co-products in an anaerobic digestion process, producing bio-gas which will be used to power the Glendullan distillery.
These developments build on recent Diageo investments in Speyside totalling more than £40m, including distillery expansion and upgrade projects at Linkwood, Mannochmore, Glendullan, Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Inchgower, Cragganmore, Glen Elgin and new bio-energy plants at Dailuaine & Glenlossie.
Elsewhere in Scotland, as part of the £1bn investment programme, the company is progressing plans for a major expansion of Glen Ord Distillery, near Muir of Ord and is progressing with construction of new warehousing at Cluny near Kirkcaldy.
Brian Higgs, Diageo malt distilling director, said: “All three sites we considered for the new malt distillery were excellent potential locations but after detailed investigations Teaninich came out just ahead in terms of the many complex logistics required when planning such a development.
“It is a significant investment for the local economy around Alness and we look forward to working positively with Highland Council and the local community as we progress our plans.”
Last year Diageo submitted Proposal of Application Notices (PANs) in relation to three possible sites for a new distillery at Teaninich and at Glendullan and Inchgower, both on Speyside. Full planning applications will now be submitted to Highland Council and Moray Council for the projects announced today.